Press Release

New York’s smart approach to provide food purchasing dollars to students from low-income backgrounds will help stem the tide of food insecurity

The following can be attributed to Ian Rosenblum, Executive Director of The Education Trust–New York:

“New York’s plan to provide $880 million in food assistance to approximately 2.1 million students from low-income backgrounds so their families can buy food at food stores and farmers markets will help stem the tide of food insecurity resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. By making participation automatic for eligible families, covering as many students from pre-kindergarten through high school as possible, and moving quickly to implement this support, New York’s smart approach to ‘Pandemic EBT’ will have the greatest possible impact on the most families.

“In our recent statewide poll, 79% of public school parents from low-income backgrounds said it would be helpful to provide ATM-like cards that parents can use to purchase food at local grocery stores. Today’s announcement will bring relief to these families and vital food support to children across the state.

“We are especially grateful to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Department of Health for implementing an approach to identify and automatically support all families who have lost access to free- and reduced-price school meals without putting a burden on parents.

“Food insecurity is a terrible reality for far too many children and youth – from families with infants and toddlers to students in our public schools, colleges, and universities. ‘Pandemic EBT’ will support families who have had to reduce or skip meals as a result of coronavirus and will make nutritious meals available to their families. More federal support is also essential to provide vastly expanded food assistance and outreach to additional students and families.”